You don't need to spend a lot of money on fancy books or reading programs to start your child on the path of reading. Here are some suggestions for exploring reading:
* Keep books, magazines and newspapers in your home to give your child constant exposure to reading possibilities.
* Tape label names on objects in your home, such as "bed," "doll," "table" or "chair." These can help your child begin to recognize letters and words.
* Help your child see how people use reading and writing through daily events, such as reading a recipe while preparing a meal, reading aloud cards and letters, and writing lists or checks.
* Work on your home computer. This can show your child a variety of information in many different forms.
* Outside the home, point out signs, labels and logos to your child. This can encourage early attempts at reading. Even the youngest child will quickly begin to identify familiar signs and places.
* Visit libraries, bookstores, newsstands and other places where books and reading materials are found. Ask for help in choosing books your child will like.
-- "The Read-Aloud Handbook," by Jim Trelease (Penguin Books, 1982)